Can’t believe it is already Christmas! Many expats are going home or heading to another destination for the holidays. Si and I are staying in HCMC this year. Celebrating Christmas here is different from the US. In Vietnam, Christmas is not a public holiday. Where in the States the festivities and traditions are centered around the family, Christmas Eve in Vietnam is celebrated with friends. Thus, you will see many people gather at restaurants, bars, and even on the streets enjoying the night away.
Managing a restaurant keeps you on your toes with the upcoming holidays. I am understanding how important it is for restaurants to plan for the year just to actively gear up for each holiday. Decor, promotions, holiday bookings, year-end parties, and special menu have been on my list of “To Do’s” every week over the past several months. Though once we build up our experience and repertoire, I know it will get easier. However, it is so critical to constantly refresh and innovate to meet changing consumer demands, evolving food industry, and increasing engagement in social media.
With the holidays and much cooler weather in HCMC (the best time to visit), I can’t help crave for comforting dishes and desserts. These brown butter sugar cookies can be enjoyed all year round, but its’ subtle hint of brown butter in a sugar cookie base is nice simple addition for those who love to bake cookies over the holidays.
Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
175 gram unsalted butter
150 grams of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
250 grams of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
sugar or sea salt flakes (optional for extra flavor/decoration)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam and crackle. Stir with a metal whisk every so often to make sure the butters solids will brown evenly as they drop to the bottom of the pan. The aroma of the butter will start to change as it browns. Keep a watchful eye to make sure the butter doesn’t burn. Once browned set aside to cool.
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Once the brown butter is cooled, whisk together brown butter and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix all together until well combined.
Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix, however there shouldn’t be visible lumps of dry ingredients in the cookie dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up the dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/176 degrees Celsius. Place tablespoon size cookie dough balls two inches apart on baking sheet. Press the dough balls flat to make more circular cookies. At this time, you can sprinkle sugar or even sea salt to enhance the flavor of the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes rotating the baking sheet halfway, until they are golden brown.